You Don’t Always Need A Contractor For DIY Home Improvements

September 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Home Guides and References

The cost of getting repairs or home improvement done by licensed contractors are known to be high, but often necessary, mainly because most people do not have the skills or equipment necessary to make a repair in their homes or complete improvements themselves.

You don’t always need to hire an expensive contractor to do a job, though. For example, often when a power failure occurs, it is nothing more than a blown fuse. Most home fuse boxes are located in basements or garages of homes. When you experience an outage, make sure you check and distinguish between blown fuses or melting wires. If you hire an electrician to simply repair a blown fuse, it will cost you a lot of money (including labor charges) to replace the fuse, when you can do it yourself for a few dollars.

You can check a fuse by placing a working fuse in the opening where you think that the fuse is blown. Remember to remove the fuse and return it to its original place instead of leaving the fuse in the slot, so as to avoid the danger of fire.


Modern homes are equipped with breakers and when the breaker fails it will automatically shutoff the electricity. Changing a breaker is similar to changing fuses; they require little effort to replace and you usually instructions when you buy a new breaker, giving you directions on how to change it out. Follow the steps closely when doing an installation.

Light switches are another minor household issue that can be easily repaired by you. Most switches last for several years before a problem occurs, but there are times when a repair is necessary. Make sure to follow the instructions when repairing the switches, and shut off the power supply to the switch, since working with electricity can be very dangerous.

It is smart to cut off the circuit breakers when installing a new part. After you remove the switch plate cover, you will see screws that hold the circuit box in place. These screws will have to be removed as well. Before continuing the process, you should use a ‘neon tester’ to test the circuits for charge. This will help prevent shock.

When you see the wires inside the outlet box, be careful to follow the installation instructions carefully. Once inside the box you will see two wires, one black and the other wire red. You can dust off the wires if necessary. Once you have found the wires you can begin repairing the problem. You must connect the black wire with the “brass terminal” in the circuit. The curving ends must lock clockwise before you can screw the screws into in place. Follow the same procedure for the other wire. It is imperative to read the directions carefully when dealing with electricity in your home.

Home improvement is a creative journey and an investment, whether you are improving the home’s value, or repairing the home for your family’s safety. Doing some of the work yourself will save you a great deal of money in the long run, rather than paying high labor charges to a professional contractor.

Additionally, repairing or improving your home inevitably increases its value. Many people feel intimidated at the idea of repairing or remodeling their home themselves.

By clearing the hindrances out of your way and following instructions carefully, you will save a great deal of time and money on DIY home improvement, as well as have renewed confidence in your abilities. Contractors want to justify their high costs to you by making you believe that many of the repairs or improvements are huge jobs that require only a professional’s touch. If you are interested in DIY home improvement, do lots of research by getting manuals and books from the library, and you will know exactly what the work entails.

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